Chapter 15. FreeNX: Remotely Controlling Another Computer


15.1. Getting Started with NX
15.2. Advanced FreeNX Configuration
15.3. Troubleshooting
15.4. For More Information

FreeNX is a GPL implementation of the NX Server, used for remote access and display of another computer. It provides near-local speed application responsiveness over high-latency, low-bandwidth links.

15.1. Getting Started with NX

The following steps outline the basic procedure for establishing a working NX setup that allows up to 10 clients to connect to the NX server:

  1. Install the following packages on the server and client machine using the YaST Software Management module:

    Server Machine

    Client Machine

    • NX

    • FreeNX

    • NX

    • knx (for KDE sessions)

    • NoMachine nxclient (for non-KDE sessions)

  2. Set up the NX server by issuing the following command as root:

    nxsetup --install --clean --purge --setup-nomachine-key

    The server runs and running according to the default settings in /etc/nxserver/node.conf. Any user can remotely connect from another workstation. For advanced NX server configuration, refer to Section 15.2, “Advanced FreeNX Configuration”.

    If you prefer a more secure setup with private keys distributed to each client, refer to the instructions given in Section 15.2.1, “Configuring SSH Authentication Using Client Keys”.

  3. Configure the firewall on the machine hosting the NX server to allow NX connections.

    1. Log in to the server machine as root and start the YaST Firewall module.

    2. Select Allowed Services to enter the service configuration dialog and select External Zone.

    3. Select Advanced to enter the port details for NX.

    4. Open ports 22 (SSH), 5000 to 5009, and 7000 to 7009 to allow NX traffic. Do this by entering the following in TCP ports:

      22 5000:5009 7000:7009
    5. Store your settings and restart the firewall by selecting OK+Next+Accept.


For detailed information about firewall configuration for NX, refer to /usr/share/doc/packages/FreeNX/NX-Firewall.txt.

To remotely connect to another workstation and use KDE as your desktop choice, proceed as follows:

  1. Start KNX from the main menu.

  2. The first time you log in, you need to create a new connection. To create a connection, do the following:

    1. In KNX Client Login, click Connection Settings.

    2. Enter a name for the connection, such as the name of the server.

    3. Enter the host information, the port number, and the bandwidth for your connection.

    4. From Sessiontype, select UNIX/KDE to start a KDE session.

    5. Select a display resolution.

    6. Click OK.

  3. Once you are connected and the remote connection appears on your screen, you can access applications and use the remote computer as though you were sitting at that machine.

To remotely connect to another machine running GNOME as your desktop choice, proceed as follows:

  1. Download and install the nxclient package from NoMachine via

  2. Start NX Connection Wizard from the main menu.

  3. In three steps, enter the name of the connection, port and host details, and connection type, select the session type Unix/Gnome, decide whether to create a shortcut on your desktop, and click Finish.

  4. To connect to the remote desktop, click the NX shortcut on your desktop and provide username and password and click OK.

    The remote desktop appears on your screen.